By Mercy Geno Apachi
The boda-boda business in Uganda has been dubbed many names including a ‘broke’ man’s job, an entity for the school drop outs, and a den of thieves among other things.
True to one of those names, Mr. Francis Mukasa Mukisa, is a primary seven dropout working as a boda boda rider. However, he did not allow the cliche attached to his job define him. He has achieved a lot in this business and among his achievements is winning over the woman of his dreams and giving her the grand fantasy wedding she deserved.
Francis works in Mukono and met his wife Olivia Nakato in the wee stages of his business in 2014 when he did not own a motorcycle of his own.
“I knew a friend who owned a boda-boda company and he agreed to loan me a bike of Shs6 million, for me to start my job,” he narrates.
The couple also shared the same church, Mukono Deliverance Church which Francis attended loyally (although he never served in church). Olivia, was in the church choir and her beautiful voice got him immediately smitten. He joined the church’s community outreach team to get closer to her as it was one of her usual duties.
“My wife is a beautiful, hardworking woman and she still sings like an angel,” Francis compliments her.
Olivia completed her S.4 before calling it quits with school. She accords her acceptance of Francis to his patience. According to her, he was not the type of man who sees you one day and asks you to visit him the next.
Olivia used to work at Formula Feeds when Francis noticed her. His low self-esteem delayed him from approaching her. The 33-year-old attributes his cowardice to the fact that he was incapable of sweeping her off of her feet with fancy expensive gifts as most women prefer and he owned no “serious” property such as a car or house.
“How could a respectable woman like that begin to fall for a mere poor boda-boda rider like me?” he asks.
Love however brings out the best in people and Francis therefore became more practical in his approach.
“I had to work very hard and pay off my bike loan so that I could finally own it and all the money comes back to me in order for me to buy her gifts and get viewed as a man capable of providing,” he says.
Through church, the two became acquaintances and would do many activities together. They found ample time to interact, got to know each other’s tastes, dislikes, ambitions and eventually they realised they had so much in common hence the birth of a spark between them. They then started dating.
Two years into having his own boda-boda, Francis finally spilled his heart’s longings to Olivia. He went down on one knee to propose and to his surprise, without hesitation, she accepted.
He explains that the happiness that filled his once shy heart can be compared to that of a child who receives his first toy.
Drama on the wedding day
Francis can never forget the fact that on the much awaited day, he arrived late to a wedding he had dedicated his all to.
“Olivia’s matron excused herself from the salon from which their hair was being styled, complaining that the stylist’s quality of hair-dos was sub-standard therefore she went in search of a better one,” he explains adding, “I went in search of her but by the time I came back it was late and dressing took a while.”
Hilariously however, by the time the assigned matron returned, the disillusioned bride had already substituted her with another friend and so she ended up walking down the aisle with two maids of honor.
Funding the wedding
Like they say, “No man is an island”. Francis definitely needed more support other than his blossoming passenger bike riding business.
He got support from both his family and Olivia’s. To the surprise of many, the boda-boda business and the passenger friends he had made contributed the most to his fairy-tale.
“I was so shocked and happy that some of my happy customers supported. They could attend meetings or see updates on my WhatsApp status and help,” he recalls.
Part of the contributions that covered both his introduction came from his fellow boda-boda friends to whom he is forever grateful.
On the 9th of September, 2018, Francis and his beautiful 32 year old bride, Olivia made their vows.
The two are living together and Francis continues to support his family with finances from his boda-boda business.
We wish Francis and Olivia a happy marriage.